OSAKA — Pro-Pyongyang and pro-Seoul Korean resident groups in Japan have been mingling more frequently since the summit in June between the leaders of North and South Korea, a Kyodo News survey shows.

Exchanges between the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents’ in Japan (Chongryun) and the South Korean Residents Union in Japan (Mindan) have occurred in at least 35 prefectures since the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, the survey shows.

Open exchanges between the groups had occurred in only a few prefectures before the summit.

Typical exchanges include gatherings to celebrate the summit and flower observation parties.

In Osaka, 30,000 members of the two groups attended a gathering in March.

Local parades jointly organized by the two groups have been held or are earmarked for Shiga, Nara and Hiroshima prefectures.

Other events, including golf competitions and memorial services for victims of forced labor during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1911 to 1945, were also held in several prefectures.

In Kyoto, five youth organizations from Chongryun and Mindan will launch a unified Kyoto Korean junior student association in May.

Mindan’s Gunma branch said it is now encouraged to hold nonpolitical meetings with Chongryun.

Chongryun’s Nagano branch said its central executive advised it to engage in active exchanges with Mindan.

Mindan was established in 1948, while Chongryun was set up in 1955.

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